Abby Conner slugged a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Mustangs to the GPAC Post-Season Softball Tournament Morningside Bracket title.
Abby Conner slugged a two-out, two-run walk-off double off the left field fence to lift ninth-ranked Morningside to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against Dordt in Saturday’s Morningside Bracket Championship Game of the GPAC Post-Season Softball Tournament.
Conner’s hit plated McKenzie Anderson and Elin Landgren with the tying and winning runs after the Mustangs had gone into the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by a 2-1 score. Anderson ignited the winning rally with a leadoff single. Mara Amsberry sacrificed Anderson to second before an infield single by Landgren put runners at the corners. Dordt pitcher Tianna Top came within one out of escaping the inning unscathed when Tracey Edwards lined out to the shortstop before Conner’s game-winning hit.
The Mustangs won their ninth game in a row and improved their record to 38-8 heading into the GPAC Softball Championship Series against Hastings, which won its own bracket title with a 7-5 triumph against Concordia. Morningside will host the best two-of-three title series on Monday at the Jensen Complex.
Three of the Mustangs’ six hits against Top came in the seventh inning after the Dordt ace had limited Morningside to just one run on three hits over the first six frames.
Top took a 2-0 lead and a three-hit shutout into the bottom of the fifth inning before the Mustangs scored an unearned run when Landgren walked and went to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on an error by the shortstop and came home on a sacrifice fly by Conner.
Dordt took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a RBI single by Tessa Howerzyl and increased its lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Ashley Williams singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hailey Heeringa.
Morningside ace Rachel Henks scattered seven hits in a complete game performance to raise her record to 32-6. Henks, who walked two and struck out four, moved within one victory of the Morningside record for pitching wins in a season held by Whitney McElrath, who went 33-12 in the 2006 campaign.
Top pitched a six-hitter with two walks and no strikeouts in defeat.
Conner had two of the Mustangs’ six hits with a double and single and drove in all three of their runs. Morningside’s other hits were singles by Landgren, Anderson, Allie Martinez and Rachel Koch.
Monday’s GPAC Softball Championship Series will include games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a third game at 5 p.m. if necessary.